False Bomb Threats

Practice Areas

California Penal Code § 148.1

California makes it a crime to make a false report to the police that a bomb has been placed or may be placed in a private or public place. A bomb threat may be accomplished by sending a text message, an email or a making a phone call to the police or a business. The perpetrator’s intention is to instill fear in people to gain economic, political, personal or social advantage. For Penal code 148.1 to apply the threat must be unequivocal, direct and clear and made to a specific person or group of individuals. Under California Penal Code Section 148.3, it is also illegal to falsely report an emergency.

Federal laws also make bomb threats or the threat of using bombs or explosives a crime against the United States. Federal sentencing guidelines could lead to severe penalties and imprisonment for the perpetrator especially if bomb threats result in injury to a victim.

Defenses to False Bomb Threats

Good faith belief that the report was true or proving that your report was in fact true are viable defenses to this crime. Mistaken identity is also a defense where the prosecution is unable to prove it was you who made the report.

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